816 Diversions

Eating for Life: Weather may be cold, but you can still enjoy the texture, crunch of a chopped salad.

Wintertime chopped salad featuring fennel, radishes, carrots cucumbers and cabbage.
Wintertime chopped salad featuring fennel, radishes, carrots cucumbers and cabbage. The Kansas City Star

When it comes to cabbage, think pink.

Cabbage contains indoles, a chemical that can rid the body of excess estrogen, lowering a woman’s risk for breast cancer.

In ancient cultures, cabbage was considered a medicine. More recently the National Cancer Institute has found that consuming cruciferous vegetables, including cabbage, may prevent a variety of cancers.

The Star’s Wintertime Chopped Salad offers several flavor twists to the typical summer coleslaw.

For instance, chopped celery is a common ingredient, but fennel adds a sweet crunchiness while providing a healthy dose of vitamin A and a fair amount of calcium, phosphorous and potassium. Chopped radishes add a splash of color.

Carrots add still more color and a dash of beta-carotene.

Preparation tips: Cabbage contains plenty of vitamin C, but it begins to lose its potency soon after it is cut, so try to serve it immediately. The other key to a great chopped salad is to finely dice the ingredients so the flavors meld.

To create a confetti of cabbage, you will need a sharp knife.

You might be tempted to try cutting down on chopping time by using a food processor, but it can quickly turn to mush.

If convenience is paramount, start out instead with pre-shredded coleslaw mix and finely chop it. You’ll avoid leftover cabbage withering in the produce bin, but you’ll lose some nutritional value.

Serving tip: Cabbages have great texture, so line the bowl with a cabbage leaf and garnish with roughly chopped pieces.

Wintertime chopped salad

Makes 6 servings

1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cut into 1/4-inch slices and then finely chopped

1/4 small head green cabbage, finely chopped (2 cups, chopped)

6 radishes, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped

3 green onions, finely chopped

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot

Salt and pepper, to taste

3 tablespoons fresh herbs such as basil and Italian parsley

Combine fennel, cabbage, radishes, carrots, celery, cucumber and green onions in large mixing bowl.

In small measuring cup combine Dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar; stir to blend.

Whisk in olive oil until well blended. Stir in shallot.

Pour dressing over chopped vegetables; gently stir to blend. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Place in serving bowl and sprinkle with fresh herbs.

Per serving: 139 calories (71 percent from fat), 12 grams total fat (2 grams saturated), no cholesterol, 9 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 52 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber.

Recipe developed for The Star by professional home economists Kathryn Moore and Roxanne Wyss.